Navigating a Breakup During the Holiday Season
Some people will not be seated at the table for the holidays. Life circumstances are causing spikes in couples deciding to terminate relationships. A leading law firm notes a 122% increase in inquiries about services for divorce between July 2021 and October 2021 compared to the previous year. The parents of Seth and Stephen Curry, Sonya, and Dell Curry, filed for divorce after 35 years of marriage. Longevity is no longer a reason to stay. People are coming to terms with the fact that this relationship is not a part of their future, and the space between is not repairable.
The first year of marriage can be challenging. Terminating a relationship can lead to feelings of grief and loss. With the termination of a relationship, many people are left wondering what to do during the holiday season. People in a breakup come to understand that the space between you and the person you once loved is no longer a shared space. Curiosity about what comes next can be therapeutic.
Coping with Feelings After a Breakup
Feelings come up naturally, especially during family focused seasons. Welcome your authentic feelings when they show up. Notice feelings of sadness, anger, or loss. When a relationship ends the grieving process includes feelings like these. Challenging days and difficult feelings are normal. Understanding the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression helps clients process their feelings and move forward. It is not surprising that the story we tell ourselves is: “I am the only one who experiences a breakup in this way.”
Don’t go alone. Find a friend or family member who can help you through this tumultuous time. Lean on them. Consider joining a support group where you will find other people dealing with similar situations. Counseling strategies for loss and grief include processing your feelings in individual therapy with a licensed professional therapist as well as sharing with other like-minded folks in grief group therapy. Isolating prolongs your healing.
Isolation and Alienation During the Holidays
The holiday season starts in less than 60 days. The isolation alienates us from friends and family. One way we combat stress is by creating new options during the holidays. Consider things you want to do? I always wanted to decorate my home with poinsettias. Go ahead and do it. Do things that make you happy! If that means spending the holiday on the beach with your toes in the sand, go for it! Develop some new traditions now. Take time to do something you love during the holidays. Do something different from what you have done in the past. Take a long walk in nature, create something, play golf, etc. New things are possible. Let go of what was and move towards the new. Shake things up and do something different.
Mourning the End of a Relationship Has a Season
Each year the holiday season will get better. It won’t always be this way. You will reinvent yourself. Each year, the holiday season ends. The season of mourning the relationship will soon end. You will amaze yourself. EMBRACE IT! In the words of songwriter, Greg Street, “We’re gonna have a good day.”